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coverpic flag US - California - Full Moon 120 - 07/11/06

Madlib
The Beat Kunducta Vol. 1-2: Movie Scenes
Stones Throw

As sad as it is, the incredible force that was Madvillian, was only a side project for underground hip hop titans DJ Madlib and MF Doom. What makes their debut, 2004's Madvilliany, absolutely priceless is that it's just too good to be a side project. While we wait for the follow up, fans lament while Madvilliany ages with legitimacy and anticipation.

Now that is perfect advertising. It lacks the urban-myth story line of the Paul-is-dead! sham, but any marketing major can tell you the best suggestion is always subtle. At the very least, one of them didn't get shot nine times and the world will not be plagued with literally hundreds of pointless "lost tracks" albums, "resurrections", and mysterious guest spots on new Ghostface Killah albums.

In the year of our lord two-thousand and six Madlib resurfaces from two years of hiding in whatever littered garage is in the album jacket, with this 35 track collection beats and kick-around ideas without MC, rhyme, scheme, or reason. It's a shame, because these blips of perfection deserve to be on a cohesive work with some reflective poetry or constant thematic attitude to attribute to it. In the tradition of Madvillian, these tracks are too good to be treated as such minor novelty items.

There's a valuable mix of brilliance, soul, and whit here that would serve well as either Madvilliany II or Madlib's R&B answer to DJ Shadow's Endtroducing... Saying this makes this collection sound like pure catch, but don't be dismayed, The Beat Konducta Volumes 1-2: Movie Scenes is for the most part is hip-hop anti-pop. Where it is pop it's directly sampled from tasty nuggets of the forgotten soul LPs aging on Madlibs records shelf ("Toe Fat/Ghettozone"). As they progress, tracks like "Mozart/Black Opus II" and "Oldage/Youngblood" become recognizable as that vintage Madvillian sound in their grit and charm. Other times (say, a good chunk of the first volume) can be stationary and uneventful enough to be sold next to the "Nature Sounds" collections and Classical albums they sell at Target next to the scented candles.

Copyright © 2006 Matthew DeMello e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Madlib article/review: Shades Of Blue: Madlib Invades Blue Note.

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